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Mrs. Lilac's Year
Mrs. Lilac's Year
by Paul I. Freet
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.95
20 used & new from $4.19

5.0 out of 5 stars The scent of lilac fills the heart, January 31, 2014
This review is from: Mrs. Lilac's Year (Paperback)
I just finished reading this utterly charming book. It is not mawkish, does not pander to a target audience, and fills the hours so they fly way past bedtime, and compels one to reach for it before breaking fast to read just one quick chapter, before putting a foot on the floor (tea and crumpets can wait).

The cover art is exceptional, and the book is easy to hold, which is a big plus when reading in bed. The print is easy to see also...another plus.

I love this book. I'm buying copies for two friends who are avid readers. I can't wait to hear their reaction(s). I know Mrs. Lilac will own a part of their hearts as she does mine.

It is a long-time habit of mine to re-read a book I really like, almost immediately to be sure nothing good slipped past me. I'm already looking forward to embracing Mrs. Lilac and company again, starting tonight.

Thank you Mr. Freet for a wonderful read. Now hurry up and write another delightful book. Does Mrs. Lilac have a cousin per chance? Miss Murray is waiting.


Waring Pro JEX328 Health Juice Extractor
Waring Pro JEX328 Health Juice Extractor
Price: $43.13
46 used & new from $29.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mess of Ages, October 13, 2011
What a terrible juicer! Everything said by people rating it as 1 or 2, happened to me. I'm not quite sure if anyone mentioned juice pouring out from UNDER the unit, but yes, it did for me.

It is noisy to the point of annoyance. It isn't entirely stable regarding drift, so it's a good idea to make sure it isn't subtly strolling across the counter while you're dodging the deluge.

A million years ago, when I was a kid, my mother bought a Waring Blender. It outlived her.

What a shame to see a company that initially made great products, fall into the pit of substandard out of country manufacture in order to make a bundle.

Amazon has an excellent selection of juicers. If you're hooked on Amazon, shop it, and spend a little (or a lot) on a known-to-be-reliable brand.

In the long run, you'll save money on the fruits and/or vegetables you're juicing, as they won't convert to mush in the basket, or slush on the counter.

However, if you're a closet or outed masochist, you might enjoy spooning the soggy pulp into your mouth, following up by sipping the juice spewing onto the counter through a straw, while racing to beat its descent to the floor.


LASERLINE CD72LWTBLUE Translucent CD Wallet - Blue
LASERLINE CD72LWTBLUE Translucent CD Wallet - Blue

3.0 out of 5 stars A good idea that just misses..., December 5, 2008
I own several CD/DVD wallets. One is made by Company Unknown. I picked it up for a song at You Know Where. (Been reading too much Harry Potter.)

The wallet referred to above has my approval hands down. This LaserLine item falls on it's face for a couple of reasons. It is very rigid, and hard to handle when in use. It has a mind of it's own. It will not lay flat, the ideal position for adding or removing discs.

The zipper is a constant threat to the discs when adding or removing them.

I have had trouble with the zipper on one of them (malfunction). That may be a fluke.

They have a cloth handle which is stored inside if desired. Nice and neat for stationary shelf usage.

They're okay for long term use with discs you won't be accessing much, like dead storage discs you don't want to pitch out.

Also on the plus side, they are nice looking, and will stand upright on a shelf without being propped up. They are definitely waterproof should you wish to travel around with them.

The 72 disc wallet is a very nice size. It is not unwieldy as larger cases can be.

Their durability can't be disputed. The blue is attractive, a good shade.

I own two blue and two black. Don't ask. (Glutton for punishment.)


Couple or Trouble
Couple or Trouble
DVD ~ Han Ye-Seul
Offered by Asian Mall
Price: $149.99
4 used & new from $129.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for Princess, she's tough., December 4, 2008
This review is from: Couple or Trouble (DVD)
Oh boy! This is one of the best. The version being sold here is terrific. It's a nice clean set with good resolution, and superior subtitles. I bought it when it first hit the market, and in fact had pre-ordered it.

I'm a movie junkie, and at the time I purchased this, I was a definite K-Drama fan. Let's say, I am experienced.

The story has some of the funniest material I've seen around. The cat/dog exchange enacted to the song, "Bang Bang He Shot Me Down", is so hilarious I almost fell off the bed watching it. I'd seen screen caps of the scene, but nothing compares with live action.

There is a dog in this show who deserves an Oscar. She's so great.

She's jolly, and good natured. I read a commentary written by the director describing how easy she was to work with. She is just a local girl, who could imagine she had star qualities?

He said, when they wanted her to sleep, all they had to do was feed her. She always crashed after a meal. Like I said, definite star quality.

There were several cats playing Princess. They couldn't remember their lines.

Oh Ji Ho is splendid in the opening scene. He plays it with a straight face for the most part, then with grit and determination later when he's underpaid for the job he's on. (He's a private contractor.)

I can't bring myself to divulge details. As I mention time and time again, I hate spoilers.

There are scenes in this show involving water, a lot of it. Put on your life jacket, then sit back and laugh.

There's also a mole of interest, and I don't mean the furry animal.

If I talk too much about this show, I'll just yak for too long.

The cast is grand. The locale is so perfect (I have tons of pics of it in my computer). The sets are actual homes and hotels. This show was meticulously filmed down to the last detail.

What a great love story! Lot's of longing a la K-Drama, lots of tears ditto, and of course a conniving woman you can hate with my blessings. No, it's not Ana.

There's been mention of the price. It's not nearly as salty as some, and for sixteen hours, you really can't complain. It's something you'll watch many times without getting bored.

And ladies, in case you don't know it, Oh Ji Ho is a definite heartthrob with the K-Drama set. He is very beautiful to look at, and has a really nice voice to listen to. Plus he always takes off almost all his clothes. K-Drama ladies wait for that, and discuss it at forums. Pretty cute.

I have a blog dedicated to Oh Ji Ho. If interested, see my profile for the link. This show is highly rated there. Also, there are photos of the MBC awards show for this program.

Buy it here. You'll be happy.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2011 5:32 PM PST


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Su Jung VS Karl, December 4, 2008
This review is from: 2 (DVD)
IMPORTANT NOTE: This K-Drama IS currently available here at Amazon through two sellers, DVDASIAN2, and HKFlix. Click the link alongside this review. It is the number "2", it will take you to the listing where you may make the purchase if you wish.

The merchant listing is very poor unfortunately, and doesn't even supply a title for the set. The review title is the one applying to the version offered here. This version is from Malaysia, with English, Chinese, and Malay subtitles.

The story is more commonly known as, "Get Karl, Oh Su Jung".
****************************
Review:
Oh Su-Jung (Um Jung Hwa) is a very hard-working woman with an interesting past. The early years find her having many admirers, and being loved deeply, passionately, and reverently by a fellow High School student, Go Man Soo (Oh Ji Ho), who just happens to be the size of a medium-large building.

He promises her he will attend college, and become a lawyer. He is the best prospect on the horizon, plus, she can abuse him at will. A perfect scenario for an egotistical, shallow, beautiful girl with an eye solely fixed toward financial success in life.

They become engaged, and he is more her slave than ever, adoring her beyond the limits of reality.

He is a gentle guileless soul with a great heart which beats only for her.

On their wedding day though, Man Soo confesses to Su Jung, he's failed the bar exam. She's flabbergasted.

As the wedding march is playing, while she is being escorted down the aisle, she makes a snap decision, runs out of the room, flees down a winding stairway in her billowing white wedding gown (a very beautifully presented shot), leaving him standing alone at the altar.

Due to life passing, and the inevitable aging process, not to mention her difficult personality, she eventually winds up a spinster fending for herself, and finds it's no bed of roses.

One day, a pro golfer arrives from America, a born and raised Korean, returning home for a competitive golf tour. He is beautiful, slender, agile, magnetic, and very popular with the ladies whom he tends to blow off abruptly with less than the cordiality they're hoping for.

Actually, he's downright rude, and very biting in his comments to them.

This man, the famous PGA Golfer Karl Go, is also Oh Su-Jung's ex. Her very bitter, wounded and still angry ex, I might add.

And that is where the story really begins.

Su Jung is in financial trouble, has no boyfriend; let alone a husband, to lean on. She is encumbered with a younger brother she wishes to put through school, a spendthrift father, and a failing business.

Karl Go, the former Man Soo, gorgeous, slimmed down and very fit indeed, not to mention, wildly successful and filthy rich, wants nothing to do with her except revenge. He finds a very clever way to get it. After all, he's been plotting and stewing for a long time.

This story is very funny, clever, and intelligently written. It is also more profound than you'd think from the beginning chapters, and in some parts, it will start your tear ducts up. It wouldn't be a good Korean Drama if it didn't.

It has moments of real depth and beauty, also great sadness balancing the wit.

I hate spoilers. I can't tell you more than I have already, but I will mention that this is possibly my favorite K-Drama, alongside Hotelier. It is definitely my favorite work of Oh Ji Ho's.

Uhm Jung-Hwa was a delightful surprise. I'd never seen her before.
She is wonderful in this piece. The entire cast is superb. There wasn't a moment my eyes weren't riveted to the screen as this tale unfolded. Most K-Drama sags in the middle. This does not. It is sixteen hours of grand entertainment.
Comment Comment | Permalink


Midnight Cop
Midnight Cop
DVD ~ Michael York
Offered by Twenty4Seven
Price: $3.99
18 used & new from $0.24

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midnight...it's a very tough hour..., November 12, 2008
This review is from: Midnight Cop (DVD)
I have yet to read a single remark about this movie that makes me think anyone ever really watched it.

I did. Three times.

It's funny. It's also very European. It doesn't reflect an American sense of humor.

There's a gritty quality I really like. I find the visual aspect more than a little acceptable. The darkness of a lot of the scenes is moody, and evocative.

The core of the story has to do with the horrifying accidental wounding/disabling of a young child during an attempt to arrest a major drug dealer by the lead character, Inspector Alex Glass, played brilliantly by Armin Mueller-Stahl. We must observe the wretched condition of the man as the story opens.

He is sleepless, rumpled, irritable, and lacking in any kind of hope. All his life is sour, and he is being beaten down by the one terrible event of his existence, that has caused him to nearly lose himself.

Music is one of his few outlets. And then, there's the job. He has a new assistant, Shirley May, played wonderfully by Julia Kent, and a friend, the District Attorney, played by Michael York.

He also eventually finds himself involved with Lisa, an apparent bimbo, who manages to become another drop of the glue of life that keeps him from disintegrating.

I was not impressed by Morgan Fairchild the first time I watched the movie. Like most others making comments, I thought she was an absurd choice. That is, until I thought it over for a while. It dawned on me that she was actually perfect for the role, and when she threw her head back and laughed in one scene with Mr. Mueller-Stahl, I fell in love with the character, and with the actress. She was funny, sexy and pretty, as this character, and she was brave. Good for Lisa!

Alex is older than she. So what? We should all be so magnetic and well-preserved as we grow older. They're a rather odd couple. That does nothing but lend a spicy, amusing and rather sweet atmosphere to a very gruesome and sometimes terribly sad tale.

Frank Stallone was a great villain. I've seen him in other films, and I was so impressed by his talent, I couldn't figure out why the kid brother got so famous, and eclipsed him. The way the cookie crumbles I guess.

I recommend this as a movie that must be viewed with a sense of humor. And intelligence, because it isn't for dummies. It's a spoof of American cop pictures, where the hero never misses, and sex, as audience bait, takes the place of acting.

Yes, there's sex in this movie, and some of it is hilarious. However, there's never a glimpse of action on-screen. That's a nice change from all the sweating and heaving that goes on here in the US for the purpose of keeping our limited attention on the movie.

This story deals with a serial killer doing his thing, yet it isn't full of gore and splattered brains. In fact it's an excellent flick, in part, due to what you don't see.

See this movie. And use your noodle. Have no expectation, either good or bad, and you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Enjoy!


Assassins/The Specialist
Assassins/The Specialist
DVD ~ Sylvester Stallone
27 used & new from $0.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Delicious, November 12, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Assassins/The Specialist (DVD)
I love these movies. They're pure grade B, and absolutely marvelous. Sly blows everything possible up as the Specialist, and seduces/is seduced by the very sexy voiced Sharon Stone.

James Woods villains it up like no other, and entertains massively as he looses his marbles, along with his yarbles ultimately.

Assassins...ohh Paradise found. Seeing Antonio Banderas as the very nutso younger Assassin is a rare treat. He has all the earmarks of a wild-eyed coked up freak, as he determinedly tries to kill the antiquated (in his opinion) Mr. Stallone. Stallone on the other hand manages everything with aplomb; the ultimate vision of cool.

These guys are great together. These movies are great together.

Watch them for sheer entertainment and fun. If you're looking for something to take seriously, you'll be ticked off and will write mean things about this set. Go for the giggles, and the over-the-topness.


The Beach
The Beach
DVD ~ Leonardo DiCaprio
Price: $14.98
36 used & new from $3.86

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Tidal Wave Would be a Blessing, November 12, 2008
This review is from: The Beach (DVD)
This flick has all the appeal of a dead cod in the July sun. No call for a synopsis, just opinion.

I can't understand how DiCaprio could have consented to work in this ghastly, draggy, ultimately meaningless vehicle. Must have had a boat payment due at the time.

Having seen him in "This Boy's Life" (and no, it's no mistake I laud that film, rather than "Titanic", I am cognizant of the rare genius he displays when working with a good script.

With this piece of tripe, he didn't stand a chance. Likewise Robert Carlyle, another very excellent actor. Castaways in a puddle of crap.

Definitely a disc to send off to the recyclers.


Eclipse Antibes Thermaback Window Panel - Cream (42x84")
Eclipse Antibes Thermaback Window Panel - Cream (42x84")

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a total Eclipse, November 9, 2008
This drape in the cream color is the precise shade I wanted, otherwise I would have preferred a less ornate fabric. However, the woven jacquard design is not intrusive.

The manufacturer supplies care instructions on the packaging that are so small you need a magnifying glass to read them, but there IS a sewn in care label at the top. The label is annoyingly visible through the cream colored panel because in spite of the alleged 99% light blocking qualities, they are quite translucent.

If you're looking for a blackout curtain/drape this (cream colored one) is not it. Perhaps the dark colored panels offered by Eclipse are better suited for that purpose.

When unpacked, the panels are VERY creased and puckered/wrinkled. The creases DO NOT fall out miraculously even after hanging for weeks.

Regardless of the care instructions, I pressed them using a warm iron, and a fine mist spray of distilled water. The fabric tends to shift somewhat causing the edges to have some puckering. This can be avoided by pressing in one direction, and NOT pulling on the cloth when ironing. At the edges it's best to press flat down on the iron, hold for a couple of seconds, and proceed down the length of the panel. I learned that the hard way.

Washing the panels per manufacturers instructions before ironing, removes some of the sizing from the fabric and makes pressing them more effective.

The workmanship is a bit sloppy (this is not consistent, some panels were fine). One of the three panels purchased did not match up at the top due to being 1/4' longer than the others, and it looks messy, another had some gathering at the hem due to tight stitching.

I hope they block out cold, which is why I bought them.

I also bought 4 of the shorter panels.

All In all, I like them better than any others I've seen for color, they are not intrusive; don't leap out at you because of the jacquard pattern woven into the fabric.

If you're willing to go to some trouble to make them look acceptable, you could do worse than these. Just be patient and careful when dealing with pressing them. They do finally come out looking good.

A word of WARNING...USE A COOL-MEDIUM WARM IRON TO PRESS. A HOT IRON WILL DESTROY THE BACKING.


Lipton Black Tea, Loose, 1/2 pound Boxes (Pack of 6)
Lipton Black Tea, Loose, 1/2 pound Boxes (Pack of 6)
Offered by Peters Select
Price: $43.28
4 used & new from $34.50

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Tea, September 5, 2008
I love this tea. I am a long-time tea drinker, and purchased tea bags for longer than I want to count (or think about). A couple of years ago I decided to go for it...make loose tea, and deal with mess of leaves. And yes, I did know about strainers and tea balls, but I live in no man-s land. If it isn't prepackaged, it's unfit to ingest according to the natives. Good utensils are hard to find.

I finally found a wonderful BIG mesh tea ball. Ahhh, a tea drinker's best friend, right after a good English teapot.

The mesh ball in question is like the one sold here as a rule, by the way.

Tea is now a breeze to make, and absolutely delicious.

The loose packaged tea put out by Lipton is wonderful. It has a beautiful taste, unlike their teabags, which can be very iffy. I've had some that tasted like floor sweepings.

This loose tea seems amazingly consistent in flavor. I recommend it without reservation. And isn't Amazon just lovely...? They'll bring it right to your door. How much more could you ask?

Earlier I mentioned an English teapot. I favor Sadler's because of the excellent glaze, and the good material they use in the functional brown teapots they make.

A good teapot matters. Get yourself one, a nice tea ball, and some Lipton Loose tea and you will likely never use teabags again. If the tea is too strong, do it the way it's done in England; keep a very lightly boiling kettle going, and dilute with boiling water to your taste.


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